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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Medical Device Tax Relief & Breach of National Security; Do Senate Democrats Care?

Today in Washington, D.C. - June 19, 2015:
The House reconvened pro-forma at Noon today and adjourned in 2 minutes. The House will reconvene at Noon on June 23, 2015.

When Democrats passed their massive government takeover of health care, they famously acknowledged they first wanted to "pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." Five years later, the American people are still discovering expensive little surprises from the fundamentally broken law. But there is good news. Yesterday the House of Representatives voted to eliminate one of those costly surprises altogether: the medical device tax, H.R. 160 (280-140) — "To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the excise tax on medical devices."

Notice the yea vote was two-thirds of the vote which indicates to the White House that the House most likely has enough voted to over-ride a presidential veto.  However, the vote should have been even larger. So, keep the pressure on the Senate and if needed your House members.

Save my life bro!
But don't tax me to death
And remember, that this tax was is on "technologies that millions of Americans depend on every day, and, as a matter of principle, they should not have an additional tax added by the  Federal Government." As an example, here a just 9 items of the myriad of items being taxed as medical devises: pacemakers, dentures, surgical gloves, Lasik machines, MRI machines, defibrillators, heart valves, joint replacements, insulin pumps. However, there is whole lot more - basically anything that comes in contact with a needed patient. Which mean anything used by an  emergence ambulance team, emergency room, diagnosis team, nurse, therapy, etc. is taxed If you or someone you know has been helped by a medical devise. If you are someone you know or love has been helped by one of these devises, take a moment to share this information. Together, let's get this common-sense legislation through the Senate and to the president's desk.

The Senate is not in session today and will reconvene at 3 PM on Monday.

Last night, Leader McConnell filed cloture on H.R. 2146, the vehicle for Trade Promotion Authority, and on H.R. 1295, legislation containing trade preferences and Trade Adjustment Assistance reauthorization.

Yesterday,  the Senate voted 71-25 to pass H.R. 1735, as amended. Following that vote, Senate Democrats filibustered taking up H.R. 2685, the Fiscal Year 2016 Defense Appropriations bill.

So the Democrats are again playing games - finally agree to pass the Authorization Bill but then filibustering the actual funding of the military via the Defense Appropriations bill.

Last night, The Washington Post reported, “The recently disclosed breach of the Office of Personnel Management’s security-clearance computer system took place a year ago, giving Chinese government intruders access to sensitive data for a year, according to new information.“The considerable lag time between breach and discovery means that the adversary had more time to pull off a cyber-heist of consequence, said Stewart Baker, a former National Security Agency general counsel.

“‘The longer you have to exfiltrate the data, the more you can take,’ he said.‘If you’ve got a year to map the network, to look at the file structures, to consult with experts and then go in and pack up stuff, you’re not going to miss the most valuable files.’

“The compromise of the system was discovered early this month and dates back to June or early July 2014, agency officials said. The network holds a wealth of personal, family and financial details on millions of current, former and prospective federal employees and contractors.

“‘This is some of the most sensitive non-classified information I could imagine the Chinese getting access to,’ said Baker, who also is a former senior policy official in the Department of Homeland Security.

“The discovery of that breach followed the detection in April of the compromise of a personnel database containing Social Security numbers and other personal information of 4.1 million current and former federal employees. That hack dates back to December, officials said.”

Also according to The Post, “Senior U.S. officials have said that the Chinese have begun in the last 12 to 18 months to build vast databases of Americans’ personal information for counterintelligence purposes. They have gone after such data contained not only in federal networks, but in systems belonging to health-insurance giants such as Anthem.

“The breach details come as OPM leadership is under fire for its handling of a succession of network hacks over the last year and a half. The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), has called for the resignation of the agency’s director, Katherine Archuleta.”

Last week, a bipartisan cybersecurity bill was available in the Senate to take a first step to better deter and combat hacking attacks. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The need for this smart, bipartisan, transparent measure couldn’t be clearer. We shouldn’t wait for the Administration to fumble away another 4 million social security numbers or personal addresses before we help them get modernized and up to speed. . . . Most Americans would find it awfully cynical for Democrat Leaders — in the wake of the Administration’s inability to stop such a massive cyberattack — to vote against the very same cybersecurity legislation their own party vetted and overwhelmingly endorsed in committee, for the sake of scoring a political point.”

But after the bill passed the Intelligence Committee with a 14-1 bipartisan vote, Democrats filibustered it. They, suddenly deciding they didn’t want to add it to the Defense authorization bill, even though it was an immediate opportunity to get the bill passed.

As USA Today wrote, “An attempt by Senate Republican leaders to advance cybersecurity legislation failed Thursday amid a report that the hack attack on federal employees' data revealed last week was worse than first acknowledged.”

The latest revelations about the length and severity of the security clearance system breach only underscore the irresponsible Democrats’ filibuster of the cybersecurity bill.

Tags: medical devise tax, breach of National defense, do democrats care To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 12:05 PM - Post Link


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